Solo Exhibitions Opening in 2013 at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Editor | - December 4, 2012

Three solo art exhibits and a documentary on performance poetry highlight the season

The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts opens three new exhibitions and a film in 2013:

Jason Lujan: Summer Burial | January 19 - May 12

The collected works and ideas behind Jason Lujan's Summer Burial reference Eastern visuals as a comment on Native American allegories and contemporary realities. Lujan continues his use of digital process hybridized with conventional media. Utilizing themes such as portraiture, adaptations of pattern and historical crossover, the artist appropriates diverse elements as origami paper patterns, military toys and models, and product packaging.

Jason Lujan, (Chiricahua Apache) is originally from Marfa, Texas and has lived in New York City since 2001. His previous exhibitions and performances include Fancy Dance Good Luck Lion at the Heard Museum and National Museum of the American Indian; and the solo installation Blood is the New Black at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. He has also participated in residencies at The Center for Book Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and Triangle Artist Association.
Nathan Pohio: Spyglass Field Recordings: Santa Fe | January 19 - March 31
Guest Curator: Megan Tamati-Quennell

This solo exhibition is the work of leading contemporary Maori video, photography and installation artist Nathan Pohio, who is increasingly being recognized for his dynamic and quirky style. He combines a sophisticated and wide-ranging knowledge and love of cinema, filmmaking, technologies of film, photography and optical devices, and their relationship to painting with the popular culture of the '70s, the era he grew up in. Pohio's perspective includes Indigenous politics and oblique Maori, more specifically, Ngai Tahu tribal signifiers, and their views of the world.

Pohio's first international solo show is taken from an ongoing series referring to instruments used for observation, both of visual and audio epithet. These recordings, observations and meditation on the nature of perception and reality are a theme Pohio will continue to develop. 

Spyglass Field Recordings, the first show of contemporary Maori art to be shown at the museum, will also be made up of recent works that show the diversity of Pohio's practice, including a series of new photographs created this year while on a month-long residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, a work that documents his time in two cities in Australia and recordings of images from his home. His use of old and new photographic and film technologies are also expressed within this exhibition.

Nathan Pohio works in video, other photo media and employs found and gifted objects that are rendered into material for artworks and installations. Focusing on the history of cinema and the relationship of that history to painting and optical devices, Pohio operates from the perspective of his Maori ancestry as an interface with the world and wonders what it is to be human when confronting the inherent dualities of being of Maori and European decent. Pohio has realized a beauty within the conflict.

Megan Tamati-Quennell has been the curator of contemporary Maori Indigenous art at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa since 2005. She is of Te Atiawa, Ngati Mutunga, Ngai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Waitaha descent. During the past 24 years, Tamati-Quennell has worked as a curator, arts facilitator and arts writer and is one of three Indigenous art curators in New Zealand who specializes in contemporary Maori and Indigenous art. She has been at the forefront of many developments in contemporary Maori arts practice, which she describes as "art made on the margin between the indigenous and the mainstream."

Tyree Honga: Images of Life | January 19 - March 31

Using his mouth, BiC pens and colored pencils after a car accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down, Tyree Honga (Hualapai and Paiute) creates a new portrait series illustrating animals and individuals near his Grand Canyon home. Images of Life includes strong textures of feathered grays, deep black and shadows of Native American leaders, friends, and famous persons, such as Pink and Pi, as well as big game animals. Although an auto accident left him quadriplegic in 1990, Honga shows how art therapy and spiritual ideas from reggae and beat music, as well as canyon wildlife and landscapes, can lead to a newfound sense of purpose.
Documentary: Moccasins and Microphones: Modern Storytelling through Performance Poetry | January 19 - March 31

A film by Cordillera Productions, Moccasins and Microphones: Modern Native Storytelling through Performance Poetry explores the fascinating world of a dynamic team of Indigenous youth writers from the Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS) in New Mexico. Led by teacher and poet Timothy P. McLaughlin, the SFIS Spoken Word Program empowers its student members to create and perform original poems centered in Native philosophies. The exquisite artistry of this ever-evolving team has been highly recognized during an eight-year period through numerous awards, a bevy of media appearances, including PBS' News Hour and the New York Times, and performance tours throughout the United States and to the Baltic nations in Eastern Europe.

This beautifully crafted documentary film journeys with the SFIS Spoken Word Team as they prepare and present a theater production of their finest poems woven with traditional and contemporary songs and dances. The young poets enchant hearts and enliven spirits as they continue the ancient tradition of Native storytelling through the powerful new medium of performance poetry. 

For more information about upcoming museum exhibitions, go to For more information about the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, go to

The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts is dedicated to increasing public understanding and appreciation of contemporary Native art, history and culture through presentation, acquisition, preservation, and interpretation. The museum's exhibitions, programs and its collection of contemporary Native art are integral to nurturing and growth of the Institute of American Indian Arts legacy, college community and curriculum across academic and artistic disciplines.